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UK inflation rate rises to 3.1%
Inflation rose to 3.1% in November, the highest in nearly six years, as the squeeze on households continued. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that airfares and computer games contributed to the increase. The most recent data shows that average weekly wages are growing at just 2.2%. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, will now have to write a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond explaining how the Bank intends to bring inflation back to its 2% target. Mr Carney has to write a letter to the chancellor if the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate is above 3% or below 1%.
Michael Gove: I’ll make Brexit work for animals too
The government has published a new law that says it must treat animals as “sentient beings” when it makes laws. Environment Secretary Michael Gove promised to “make Brexit work not just for citizens but for the animals we love and cherish too”. The draft law also increases the maximum sentence for serious animal cruelty to five years in jail. The Green Party said the government had done a “screeching u-turn”.
UK snow: Ice warning as commuters faced delays
Drivers and commuters have faced difficult journeys in icy conditions across parts of the UK, following another night of sub-zero temperatures. The Met Office has extended yellow warnings for snow and ice until 11:00 GMT and the AA warned driving could be “hazardous”. Hundreds of schools are remaining closed for a second day. A low of -13C (9F) was recorded on Monday night in Shawbury, Shropshire – the coldest night of the year so far. The Met Office’s warning covers Wales, parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of England – including the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, London, the South East, East, South West, the North East and North West.
Hyundai’s projected production losses dim outlook
Hyundai Motor is facing some Won1tn ($916m) in production losses this year as union members at the South Korean carmaker continue the spate of partial labour strikes, compounding the company’s sales woes in big markets. Hyundai workers have held strikes for a sixth consecutive year, disrupting the carmaker’s production for 13 days this year as of Friday. The latest industrial action comes as the company struggles to boost sales in two of its biggest markets, China and the US, where it has been hobbled by a lack of sport utility vehicle models.
VW chief questions merits of diesel subsidies
The chief executive of Volkswagen questioned the merits of German government subsidies for diesel technology, saying it would make more sense for public money to instead be directed towards the transition to electric cars. It is a significant statement as until now German car executives have been defensive about diesel technology, which they have championed for decades. “If the transition to environmentally friendly electric cars is to succeed, the diesel internal combustion engine cannot be subsidised like before,” Matthias Müller told Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview, referring to the lower taxes drivers pay for diesel fuel compared with petrol.
Employment boom ‘set to hit the brakes’
Recruitment will slow sharply in the coming months as employers’ optimism about Britain’s immediate prospects wanes, a closely watched survey has warned. Brexit uncertainty has taken its toll in London and the southeast and has sent hiring confidence for the UK as a whole to a five-year low, Manpower Group found in its quarterly survey. The transport industry has bucked the trend, however, boosted by a surge in online shopping that has driven demand for logistics and forced up pay among lorry drivers by as much as 20 per cent.
More motorcyclists crash and die on nights with a full moon ‘because riders are distracted’
More fatal motorbike crashes take place on nights where there is a full moon, a study has found. It is believed motorcyclists face a hazard from the moon appearing suddenly from behind a building or over a hill. Experts say they are distracted by ‘wonderment’ which could cause them to make the fatal mistake of taking their eyes off the road. A study analysing fatal collisions over three decades in the UK, United States, Canada and Australia, found an additional crash for every two nights with a full moon.